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Junior Seau

Latest In String of NFL Suicides

... Concussions Blamed

5/2/2012 11:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0502_junior_ray_dave
Junior Seau
is the latest of several former NFL players to commit suicide -- and all the deaths might be linked ... through brain-related injuries sustained during the players' football careers.

Most recently, 62-year-old former Atlanta Falcons player Ray Easterling (center) shot himself last month in his Virginia home. His wife claims the former safety developed symptoms of dementia after his football career.

Easterling filed a federal lawsuit in Philly against the NFL in 2011 over its handling of concussion-related football injuries -- claiming the league intentionally concealed links between the injuries and the game.

Dozens and dozens of similar concussion-related lawsuits have also been filed against the NFL -- but the league insists the allegations are without merit.

50-year-old former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson (right) was found dead in his Florida home last year from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. 

Before his death, he texted his family asking for his brain to be used for research (hence why he shot himself in the chest). Months later, researcher neurologists at Boston University confirmed Duerson had suffered from a neurodegenerative disease linked to concussions.

It's possible Junior Seau shot himself in the chest for the same reason.

Terrell Owens had TWO near-death encounters involving pills -- most recently on October 6th, when his assistant called 911 claiming the NFL star had OD'd. T.O. nearly died back in 2006 too, after downing 36 Vicodins.

As we reported, Junior Seau drove his truck off a California cliff back in 2010 following a domestic violence arrest. It's unclear if it was a suicide attempt.

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
65 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

Jack    

Nothing will change as long as greed and the almighty dollar rule the day and that ain't changing anytime soon.

813 days ago
2.

jj    

So few people get it. Every pro sport will be played as hard as a man (in this case) can play it. If it involves hitting like football and hockey, players will hit as hard as they can, any way they can. You want to reduce injuries? REDUCE the protection of the hitter!

813 days ago
3.

the artist formerly known as hand turkey    

So, the claim is that head injuries make you suicidal? Everybody knows that brain injuries are bad for your brain. Everybody knows sports are dangerous and potentially fatal, if you have a problem with that, choose another line of work.

813 days ago
4.

Johnnyeyez    

Pretty sad TMZ that you guys post a story saying that these suicides are linked because of concussions. What the hell do you know? For all we know they were alone, depressed, broke, divorced, etc...not very different than non pro athletes committing suicide. Blaming it on concussions is just plain stupidity.

813 days ago
5.

darren    

they are depressed because they do not have any other skills and miss all the attention. There are using the concusion syndrome as a excuse... Do all the strippers, porn stars and trophy wifes that grow old and ugly have concusions too... They are grown men with insecurity issues.. Get a grip sportswriters and quit making excuses for theese kids that are men.

813 days ago
6.

jack-55d79    

I think you have to be very careful with this stuff, first finding out the suicide rate in general then comparing it to the suicide rate among former football players. It could be they're absolutely right and the rate far exceeds the average suicide rate, but it needs to be checked. Otherwise it is how myths start. Likewise neurodegenerative diseases are not uncommon, so what is the rate of former NFL players versus ordinary people? Etc. Not being down on TMZ but most coverage elsewhere is often rubbish.

813 days ago
7.

Gretel    

There was a man named Mike Webster who played football with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I'm not sure when but I guess it was back in the day. A guy I was in college with used to live in that area and was a pizza delivery guy and he knew him. My friend said he was one hell of a nice guy but he was totally messed up mentally. I guess it was for the almighty dollar from both camps, players and organizations, that keep on keeping on though even back then they just HAD to know it wasn't a good thing.

813 days ago
8.

joe    

You use a better helmet, end of story. save lives. much harsher penalties for hit to head. There is technology out there to limit concussions, but somehow these helmets aren't being used.

813 days ago
9.

OJ    

First

813 days ago
10.

CountryGal    

Everyone looking for someone to sue. Bunch of ****tards ruining the country. My friend taught junior sailing and killed himself. Can I sue the Yacht Club he worked at?

813 days ago
11.

CountryGal    

The liberals will say the NFL players have to play with Nerf footballs now and it has to be touch football. No more tackling!

813 days ago
12.

And thats the truth    

Football has been around for a very long time so why hasn't other football stars killed themselves. As a matter of fact, the new players have better helmets then the ones did 20 years ago and beyond, maybe even 10 years ago.

813 days ago
13.

Concussions    

Anybody doubting that concussions had nothing to do with this should do their research. Three well known retired NHL enforcers (fighters) committed suicide last summer...all three had a history of concussions. It may not be a direct link but there's no doubt that repeated concussions CAN cause depression. Picture a doctor tells you that you have brain damage and your brain will never perform at 100% again, so now you're constantly wondering if your forgetfulness is because of brain damage. Knowing your brain is not performing normally is not an easy thing to live with.

813 days ago
14.

Meanie    

how about looking at the crap they ingest and dope into their bodies... oh wait... there's no doping in sports... right?.... LMFAO ....

813 days ago
15.

Regina    

I'm sorry as I can be for the guy and sorry for his family but that's what happens when you collide with another person at full throttle, throw people down, jump on them, leap over them and hit your head, all of which I have seen football players do. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that full contact sports such as football, hockey, mixed martial arts, boxing, etc that involves the head being bounced around is going to cause problems. Sure they have padding, but the skull is being bounced around inside the helmet and the skull is holding the brains in. So if one is getting slammed, the other is too.
That's why I like baseball so much, no full contact unless you are trying to catch a fly ball and bounce off the wall somewhere, but they are not crash test dummies full time like football players are.

813 days ago
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